As this hurricane season approaches, we’re focused on helping agents across the country address these three questions:
- What should you expect this season in terms of the storm climate?
- What can you tell policyholders and prospects about last year’s hurricane season to help them prepare for this season?
- How can you retain the flood policies and commissions you added to your book after last hurricane season?
Through conversations with the diverse Assurant flood experts, including our on-staff meteorologist, hydrologists, flood field agents and senior flood leaders, here are the answers we’ve come up with to those questions.
2018 Hurricane Names
What to Expect This Hurricane Season
Hurricanes are the byproduct of air and warm water gone wrong. North of the equator, air above the surface of the ocean takes in moisture and heat. As that warm air rises, a pressure region forms below it. Hurricanes are formed as the cycle repeats with high pressure air moving into regions of low pressure air, heating up, rising, and then producing whirling air.
So far this year, Colorado State University predicts a slightly above-average 2018 season, citing the relatively low likelihood of a significant El Nino as a primary factor.
The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project tam is predicting 14 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven to become hurricanes and three to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.
How to Help Policyholders Prepare for an Active Hurricane Season
As we prepare for the hurricane season ahead, flood insurance is critically important. Last year’s hurricane season proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. If customers ask you about dropping their flood policies, make sure they understand that flood insurance is essential to protecting their assets. The 2017 hurricane season had a devastating impact on uninsured properties, costing a record amount.
Share these facts with policyholders and prospects to help them understand the importance of flood insurance.
Protect Your Flood Book Year Round
With last year’s hurricane season almost a year behind us, the new policies you acquired last year, as well as existing policies, will be up for renewal. While we typically see many “disaster-inspired policies” drop off at first renewal, talking to your policyholders proactively can make all the difference. In addition to the stats above, make sure your policyholders know:
- All 50 states have experience flash flooding in the last five years
- More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside the high-risk flood zones
- Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in dage
- If your property is grandfathered into a lower risk zone than FEMA’s current flood map reflects, and your let your policy lapse, you could lose this benefit
- Disaster Assistance is not free money, most common form of assistance is a low-interest SBA loan
- Flood insurance pays claims regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration
- They may be able to decrease the cost of their premium while maintaining flood protection with private flood insurance